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BillsTheBassMan

My Pet Brown Trout

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Hello All,

 

I've been playing cat & mouse with a huge (river) brown trout for the past month or so now.

 

Here's a bit of background on my pet brown:

 

- He is 24-28 Inches.

- He is very fat.

- He lives in (or around) a beaver lodge.

- He lives in the depths close to fast water.

- His general area often has so many minnows that they are piled 5-6 baitfish deep in the water column.

- He is not very popular with other fish, as his area seems devoid of smaller fish (Haha, I wonder

why)

 

My three semi-successful experiences with this fish to this point (on 3/6 trips he made appearances):

Please Note - All three sightings happened in DAYLIGHT hours (between 10:00am and 6:00pm)

 

- My first experience was towards the end of april when he attacked a vibrax 1 spinner - silver, dressed. Line - 6lb test, leader 2lb fluorocarbon. I had him on for roughly 30 seconds when he shook the hook. He was taking line. Here I saw him bent in half fighting the lure.

 

- My second experience was a few weeks ago. He attacked a silver EGB spoon with french swivel but just knocked it and returned home. Here I saw him head first. Same line setup.

 

- My third experience was today when I enticed him to follow a F5 Silver Rapala. I was using 6 Lb green mono. I have no doubt he tracked the lure for some time because he was sighted relatively far from home. He decided to not take the Floating Rap in the 30 degree weather.

 

Today is when I really truly understood how big this fish actually is. I saw his entire length and girth. A true trophy.

 

Unsuccessful presentations to this point:

 

1) Float-Fishing Nymphs

2) Fishing with worms

3) Fishing with a jigged Gulp Alive minnow

4) Fishing a small Mepps Syclops

5) Fishing a "Little Wolf" Spoon

 

I fully intend on catching this fellow in the near future. He will be returned to fight another day after I successfully manage to land him..

 

So I ask you folks: how would you go about landing this great brown?

 

I look forward to your input!

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Just as it is getting dark: Mouse and hold on.

 

Dan

 

Hey Dan!

 

I've been thinking this may be a good strategy as well. I think I would target anytime of day either during a heavy rain or shortly after a rainfall. Would you cast onto the opposite shore and twitch it into the water and let it proceed right through the trout's house?

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3-4" lively chub minnow drifted under a float.

 

There are definitely lots of chubs present, but I fear the float would make the fish even more skittish. Would you run it on a small hook with a fluoro leader?

 

With this presentation again I think that it would be best presented during a rainfall or shortly after.

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Awesome thread…I too am also on a quest for redemption.

 

I’ve also tried just about everything you tried except for the Mepps Syclops. So far the only things I’ve been getting resident browns on are spinners and worms with the odd one coming to roe (accidental catch when I’m fishing for steelhead). I’ve tried my collection of Kwikfish & Flatfish, smaller Rapalas and various streamer flies.

 

Some things I’m planning to try (mind you there are no rules against live bait or the use of treble hooks where I fish):

 

- Top water bass lures (to simulate mice and frogs)…I have a few Rapala skitter pops so I may try those.

 

- Drifting medium sized shiners below a float or bottom bouncing them

 

- I’ve read that big browns drop their guard when there’s a hatch of giant mayflies – Hexagenia Limbata (I’m not sure if the river I fish has them or not)…Or wait for a hatch of grasshoppers later in summer and break out the fly gear…After Sunday night, I’m sure my 8wt isn’t too heavy for some of the fish lurking in the river :w00t:

 

In any case, I’ll be returning at night…My big browns (almost all migratories off the pier or estuary) as well as some of the bigger resident fish I’ve hooked into came at night. Hopefully before this weekend, I can pick up a bigger net.LOL

 

I'll also be tying up some hair mice on the vice sometime this week if I have time to spin them :D

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Definitely good suggestions so far (a mouse pattern, live minnow under a float).

 

You will likely have the most success (regardless of bait/lure) by changing the time of day that you try to fool this wise old fish as large Browns primarily feed at night. I'm personally not a big fan of fumbling around in the dark (especially with a fly rod) but in many cases they'll start to become active just before dark. I've taken all of my largest Browns an hour or two before dusk so give it a try.

 

One last thing, keep an eye on water temperatures as we get into July and August especially if we keep getting this type of weather. I personally stop fishing for Trout when the water is beyond 65C or so and when it is that high it's best to fight fish quickly and don't take pictures so the fish isn't out of the water for long (which is pretty hard to resist when you get a big one).

 

Good luck!

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I would try something live on a naturally bouyant rig.....bare bones...meaning NO split shot or any kind of weight.

 

Just let the weight of a worm for example take itself down naturally and slowly.

 

I dont know how far you have to cast your presentation but with light enough line a worms weight will get you a good distance.

 

If hes in faster water, cast WAY ahead of him so that your bait is in the strike zone by the time it reaches the fish.

 

This is pretty stealth and natural and sometimes thats all you need to entice.

 

Try this with all sorts of baits........worms, slugs, caterpillars etc.

 

The downfall of this all is he may take it deep as you wont be able to keep a tightline on the weightless natural presentation

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Definitely good suggestions so far (a mouse pattern, live minnow under a float).

 

You will likely have the most success (regardless of bait/lure) by changing the time of day that you try to fool this wise old fish as large Browns primarily feed at night.

 

One last thing, keep an eye on water temperatures as we get into July and August especially if we keep getting this type of weather. I personally stop fishing for Trout when the water is beyond 65C or so and when it is that high it's best to fight fish quickly and don't take pictures so the fish isn't out of the water for long (which is pretty hard to resist when you get a big one).

 

Good luck!

 

Thanks for the post Wallacio.

 

I've tried for this fish at dusk and had ZERO success. He could have been off on those three occasions, but I've had him on twice during high daylight hours and I ALMOST had him on today. I realize it is rare, but perhaps he doesn't mind gorging during the day.

 

My best days so far fishing browns this year have been at 8am or so with overcast skies. Unfortunately, I have to hit this particular spot at that hour.

 

When Bass come into season, I slow-down or completely stop fishing for Browns. That's my general rule of thumb.

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Awesome thread…I too am also on a quest for redemption.

 

- I’ve read that big browns drop their guard when there’s a hatch of giant mayflies – Hexagenia Limbata (I’m not sure if the river I fish has them or not)…Or wait for a hatch of grasshoppers later in summer and break out the fly gear…After Sunday night, I’m sure my 8wt isn’t too heavy for some of the fish lurking in the river :w00t:

 

In any case, I’ll be returning at night…My big browns (almost all migratories off the pier or estuary) as well as some of the bigger resident fish I’ve hooked into came at night. Hopefully before this weekend, I can pick up a bigger net.LOL

 

I'll also be tying up some hair mice on the vice sometime this week if I have time to spin them :D

 

Hey MJL!

 

I figured you'd reply to this thread - you always have great trout reports of your own and I guessed the title would entice you hahaha. Glad you liked it. I might keep it alive as long as he keeps showing himself (or in the event of me actually landing him).

 

This guy will most certainly be well worth the effort and the planning - that's half the fun.

 

I'm going to try him rotationally as far as daylight goes. Today was bright morning and he showed himself. Next efforts will be at dusk and after dark.

 

ASAP I am going to try him in the morning - ideally overcast.

 

I also have a fly rod but am nowhere near adept enough to land this guy on a fly.

 

I'm going to bring a wide menu for him next time. Chub, Shiner, Mouse (fake for starters), and the items that have interested him previously.

 

I've read reports of browns that are caught with 8+ moles in their stomachs after a rainfall - gives some more credence to the rodent route.

 

I agree with the previous bare bones approach as well - no split shots, nothing that can interfere for the time being.

 

We'll see (but keep the ideas coming folks - not a bad reference for this fellow or other big old browns).

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I would try something live on a naturally bouyant rig.....bare bones...meaning NO split shot or any kind of weight.

 

I dont know how far you have to cast your presentation but with light enough line a worms weight will get you a good distance.

 

If hes in faster water, cast WAY ahead of him so that your bait is in the strike zone by the time it reaches the fish.

 

The downfall of this all is he may take it deep as you wont be able to keep a tightline on the weightless natural presentation

 

He's in a deep pool near or in a beaver lodge at the end of fast water (but the pool maintains some current). It is almost unapproachable from the near side, so you have to be across stream.

 

It's a tricky spot but not the trickiest spot. When I am feeling ninja-like, I will approach him from the near side and sit for 20-30 minutes and then I'll start working him.

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I know how to catch 'im..... You just let me know when you want to head out and we'll meet up there. GPS coordinates are a must! :whistling:

 

Seriously though, the mouse pattern at dusk is a great idea, as would be a frog pattern too. I've found with bigger fish, if they chase your fly/lure, they'll usually only do it once an outting as they know somethings up when it suddenly disappears from the water.

 

If you know exactly where he usually hangs out, spend an hour just watching the water to see what he's actually feeding on. Its a tough thing to just sit and watch, but it just might pay off in the end for ya! It has for me.

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Perhaps turning over a few stones and finding some stonefly nymphs...

 

Put that on a #14-16 hook and dead drift it right into the beaver lodge :)

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I've heard old timers talk about floating their bait down the creek on a piece of bark and then gently pulling it off the bark and letting it sink naturally...me personally, I don't think an animal with a brain the size of a pea is that smart, selective but not smart....so I don't partake in the extreme antics....

 

you're getting follows so you're doing something a little bit right...when you're getting follows do NOT slow the bait down, speed it up and work her natural instincts to get a reaction strike out of her....you didn't mention what colour patterns you're using? I'm guessing natural?...switch it up and toss a bright pink or orange xrap...twitch a jointed rap on the surface

 

failing the reaction strike I would either dead drift, with no weight, any of the baits mentioned above....red wiggler and then a dace or chub would be my top 2 picks....or try still fishing on bottom using a slip sinker rig....

 

failing all of that, I'd fish for her early am (4-8am) or night fishing

 

be careful of your profile and where your shadow falls too, when you're fishing during daylight....don't be blowing a puff of smoke over the water, stand a few extra feet back from the water....crouch or rest on your knees, use the natural foliage to blend in your profile as much as possible

 

 

I had a very similar story with a musky in college, went on for 4 yrs...had her on a few times, never landed, stole at least half a dozen smallies/eyes on me when I was fighting them in....I always saw her in a specific area, deepest water in that section of river...so that's where I fished for her and had many sightings but only occasional action from her....I eventually began to realize that this area was probably her resting area....resting in the shallow, warm edges of the pool to increase her metabolism, but able to sneak away into deep water at any sign of danger...I devised a new game plan and started looking for feeding areas that were close by....I never landed her as I graduated school and moved away...but following summer(5th season since I first saw her) my buddy landed her....plowing a 13" smallmouth patterned believer through the rocks in 2-3' of water 100 yards away from my spot....56.5" but no girth measurement

 

 

 

I know exactly how you feel....good luck and post some pics when you land her...

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I don't know bud...

He hit your spinner once, he'll do it again.

Try earlier in the morning when he's out roaming?

Browns for me have always been more active at dusk, but just after dawn is good, especially just after an evening rain.

(not a storm...not blown banks, and mud, but enough to cool the water a bit)

 

I don't know the water your working but Personally for a "skittish" brown I'd be inclinded to drop a fly at dusk.

A muddler is always a good dusk fly...

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Arrive at the river around dusk...Crawl along the bank being careful not to make any disturbances...

 

Then go to town with an electro-shocker :thumbsup_anim:

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Since you say there are a lot of chub in the area, that would rule out the use of worms or insects as they will get it before he does.

 

I would use a larger chub or a preferably a larger crayfish as suggested before. Since he is near wood do not go so finesse, use straight 6 or 8lb to the hook, so if you hook him you can land him.

 

Good luck!! (and pics if you get him!!)

 

Burt :)

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Seriously though, the mouse pattern at dusk is a great idea, as would be a frog pattern too. I've found with bigger fish, if they chase your fly/lure, they'll usually only do it once an outting as they know somethings up when it suddenly disappears from the water.

 

If you know exactly where he usually hangs out, spend an hour just watching the water to see what he's actually feeding on. Its a tough thing to just sit and watch, but it just might pay off in the end for ya! It has for me.

 

On the three times I have seen this fish

 

1) When I had him on the spinner it was the only time I saw him.

2) When I had him knock the EGB it was the only time I saw him

3) Today, when he chased my rap, it was the only time I saw him.

 

You only get one chance with this guy, and not even one sighting per trip. I don't suspect he leaves home for everything, all the time.

 

I bought 4 mouse lures tonight of varying sizes and colours. I'll fish them when the conditions permit. I think it is something good to have in the tackle box.

 

I almost stepped on two frogs when I was approaching him today - I'll need a gentle presentation without a whole lot of metal.

 

I'm going to watch him. I've considered doing it before, but took the "Ill just fish for him approach." I'll probably fish for him a few more times first :Gonefishing:

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I've heard old timers talk about floating their bait down the creek on a piece of bark and then gently pulling it off the bark and letting it sink naturally...me personally, I don't think an animal with a brain the size of a pea is that smart, selective but not smart....so I don't partake in the extreme antics....

 

you're getting follows so you're doing something a little bit right...you didn't mention what colour patterns you're using? I'm guessing natural?...switch it up and toss a bright pink or orange xrap...twitch a jointed rap on the surface

 

I know exactly how you feel....good luck and post some pics when you land her...

 

Hey and thanks for the great post!

 

I mentioned the lure colours - they were ALL silver.

 

I didn't just get follows - I had the big guy hooked once, which really got me pumping. The second knock wasn't as adrenaline rushed. My sighting today literally had my heart pumping aggressively.

 

I just am not sure how many spinners this fish is going to hit.

 

Re: Bait floating on cedar.

 

I recently read a book by Gord Deval where he talks of hunting massive browns with Mice floated on boards, but it did not have good results. He ruined his fishing spot for the evening twice with those crazy efforts (but you've got to love the originality).

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Since you say there are a lot of chub in the area, that would rule out the use of worms or insects as they will get it before he does.

 

I would use a larger chub or a preferably a larger crayfish as suggested before. Since he is near wood do not go so finesse, use straight 6 or 8lb to the hook, so if you hook him you can land him.

 

Good luck!! (and pics if you get him!!)

 

Burt :)

 

When I land him I'll post pictures for sure - I was close to posting pictures of his home, food, and water but didn't want to give it away.

 

I agree with you on the worms subject - I figure a brown of this age/size has seen his fair share of worms on hooks to know the difference.

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